CDC Recommends 2-Dose HPV Vaccine Series for Preteens

The CDC is now recommending a 2-dose series of the HPV vaccination, rather than the previously recommended 3 doses, in children 11 to 12 years of age.

The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is often recommended for young adolescents as an early preventive measure against HPV. The CDC is now recommending a 2-dose series of the HPV vaccination, rather than the previously recommended 3 doses, in children 11 to 12 years of age.

Previously, the HPV vaccine was given in 3 shots. The second shot was typically given 1 or 2 months after the first shot, followed by the third shot 6 months later.

On October 19, 2016, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted to change the HPV vaccine recommendation for young adolescents from 3 doses to 2 doses. The CDC and ACIP revised the previous recommendation after reviewing data from clinical trials showing that 2 doses of the HPV vaccine in younger adolescents produced an immune response similar to, or higher than, the response in young adults who received 3 doses.

“Safe, effective, and long-lasting protection against HPV cancers with 2 visits instead of 3 means more Americans will be protected from cancer,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, in a press release. “This recommendation will make it simpler for parents to get their children protected in time.”

Based on the data review, it was determined that 2 doses of the HPV vaccine given at least 6 months apart to adolescents aged 11 to 12 years will provide effective and long-term protection against HPV cancers. Under the updated recommendation, adolescents aged 13 to 14 years are also able to receive the 2-dose schedule of HPV vaccinations.

On October 7, 2016, the FDA approved adding a 2-dose schedule for 9-valent HPV vaccine for adolescents aged 9 to 14 years. Providing fewer shots will allow a more efficient and effective means of protecting preteens against the virus.

The CDC encourages health care providers to implement the 2-dose schedule to protect their adolescent patients from cancer-causing HPV infections.